As I made to enter into my car, a text message dropped into my handset, I opened the box, its was from Mahmud, Mahmud has always wanted me to meet with Senator Mustapha Sani of Niger south, mostly because I have always taken a hard knock on him, on two or more occasions, Mahmud will call to explain some issues that I might have commented on, on social media that relates to the Senator, the first been that of a recommendation letter the Senator wrote for an Igbo lady thought not to be from his constituency of Niger south and the second been that of a young man whose arrest was reportedly ordered my the senator. On the two occasions Mahmud had called to explain, I would listen to him, but deep down I didnt believe his explanation, so even when Mahmud sent a text that the Senator wants to meet me, I really didn’t want to see him because I believe he was rather something else than a distinguished Senator, after series of thought I decided to go see him.
Mahmud received me at the reception of the hotel and said the “Senator is waiting to see you but you give him 10 minutes to discharge some guest,that just came in”
Less than 10 minutes sitting in the restaurant of the hotel, Mahmud jerked up and said let’s go.
We walked back through the reception and before the main entrance took a left turn, then right and then he opened a door, before me was Senator Mustapha Sani, I thought for a while, so this is the un-performing, controversial senator, I will drill you today!
Now on his feet, Senator Sani said Welcome Baba, I have being waiting for this day, he said, I wanted to see you so we could talk, why have you always ellueded me. Mahmud told me everything, thank you for coming, please sit down.
My first question to him was, what have you been doing in the senate? our people are very angry with you, they say they didn’t see you and didn’t see your message.
Baba, that is not true but only if you will let me explain, I have being, both in the Senate for my people and at home with my people, I always try to be in the constituency often but you know I have 8 LGAS.
I fired the next question, so where are the projects Mahmud keep disturbing me about?
He said “I can’t remember all but let me try to remember some for 2016 and the soon to be commenced 2017”
My biggest joy though is the singluar effort I made to get Lambata- Bida road into the 2017 budget, work will soon begin, I guess you know it is120 kilometers? I began to feel relaxed.
I then asked, is that all, he said, Haba! Thats,just a tip of 2017 but let me list some for 2016 for you, within the 30 months I have been in the senate I have renovated schools in Gbako, Mokwa (that is the school the deputy Governor attended)in katcha, Bida and lavun. I also donated 13 electricity transformers, 10 boreholes and from Mustapha Sani foundation, 1 borehole in kuchi,1 in Kandi, 1in kpada,1 in pangun daji, 1 in lapai, 1 in mahunji and 1 in kpacita of lavun LGA.
I asked him what about employment opportunities for our people? He said, I am working hard on that but for now I have 4 persons in NSCDC, 6 in FIRS, I have also supported 500 widows each with the sum of #10,000 each across the zone, I have given 21 vehicles to various persons to boost their source of livelihood, 120 motorcycles, 800 bags of fertilizers free to our farmers, all APC women leaders were given each a deep freezer, 50 numbers of hair clippers were also given to the youth.
For 2017, we have a lot lined up, but the projects are just being awarded and that was why the Budgit staff who went round my constituency got me angry, I interrupted him, we will get to that.
Okay, Senator Sani said, in 2017 there will be construction of cottage hospitals in Gupa/Abugi, lapai. Renovation of landzun ward primary health care Centre in Bids, 8 nos ICT across the zone, Renovation of Lanle PHC in lavun,construction of NYSC lodge in Gbangba in Edati, renovation of Busu town hall, renovation of Bida town hall,15 nos motorized borehole across the zone, 1 block of 3 classroom in 2016 I also had to write to ministry of information to get a new transmitter for FM bida. I am inviting you and Budgit staff to join me as I go on ground breaking for some of the projects tomorrow.
Since you have mentioned it again what truly happened between you and that Budgit staff? I asked him.
Baba, I don’t know him (the budgit staff) I only received calls from my constituency that someone came to tell them I was collecting and pocketing monies meant for projects and there were paper evidence, so I enquired and got the person’s phonenumber “I made all effort to see him to know who he was but he, avoided me, so I informed the police and they took him in, the projects are for 2017 and the projects have just been awarded this week, but that is over now, they can come and see for themselves”
Immediately I asked him, what really happened in the case of the lady he wrote a recommendation for, a lady not from his constituency, Senator Sani said, I really regretted what happened, but it was an innocent letter I wrote for a chief,who has been a good friend for long, he requested me to assist him after I have forwarded the list of my constituents, but “Wallahi I felt very bad because I have never known the lady in question ”
I didn’t allow Senator Sani land, I immediately asked him what he thinks of the allegations of corruption in the legislature, he said, we have individual differences but as far I know I cannot be a party to corruption.
Okay Senator, what do think of Niger state Government? “I think the Governor should go back to the drawing board, sit down with stakeholders to know the problems of the common who voted us into power, ” NOWHERE I THINK THE GOVERNOR HAS DONE WELL, ITS ZERO ALLOVER.”
I sought to know, if as been peddle around, he,was truly sponsored by Senato Zaynab Kure, Senator Sani said, it is, false, she is my in law, she is only married to my uncle and we are family friends and that is all, she didn’t sponsor me, its false, I am an estate developer before going into politics and Alhamdulliah!
I asked what about allegations of forgery and his lack of eligibility in court, Senator Sani responded by saying, these are all political insinuation by General Garba, he is finding it difficult to accept defeat I will advise the General to take a rest and allow younger generations to pilot the affairs of the nation.
If I wasn’t a member of the party, I wouldn’t have bought nomination form, got screened, won primaries with a wide margin of 587 votes, I got 1486 votes and he (general ) got 960 votes and all these votes were votes from party members.
After the primaries, I went to see him in his house, I sat down on the floor to plead with him to join me to move the zone forward but he said ‘the game is still on’ I don’t know what that means.
On a lighter mood,,as we made to rap up I asked, will you contest in 2019? He said, Yes!
At the end of our encounter my journalistic instinct was satisfied that I have heard from the horses and he seems to have made an impression on me especially as he said “my joy always is to ensure projects are conceived, actualized with highest degree of quality.
As I made my way to leave, his phone rang, it was a call from his project officer who has just returned from Busu village in lavun, where he has gone to install solar lights, inspect the town hall there and the ongoing renovation in Bida.He walked me back to the reception, we shook hands and bid each other bye-bye.
Yahaya MOHD Usman